The city of Chicago announced that it has tripled the number of self-service payment kiosks across the city.

Chicago, which partners with CityBase on the kiosks, said it has a network for more than 70 payment kiosks that provide residents self-service access to pay for water bills, parking tickets, taxes, and more.

“Now more than ever, it’s important that everyone has easy-to-use, self-service payment options in their own neighborhoods,” Reshma Soni, comptroller for the city of Chicago, said in the announcement. “Customers who want or need to pay in person can do so in locations near their homes. This ensures that all residents have equal access to stay current on their important bills.”

“The CityBase kiosks provide our customers with real-time information about their balance, helping them to avoid fees and penalties. The payment technology makes it easy for people to pay multiple city bills on a single kiosk machine, with automated reconciliation to the right department, which helps our staff,” Soni added.

Chicago said it has introduced kiosks in 52 neighborhood locations this year and has rolled out 30 kiosks this summer. Chicago said the kiosks’ total footprint is 74 kiosks at 70 locations citywide. Kiosks are located in City Hall and City Clerks’ offices, libraries, police stations, family services, and community centers.

“The city of Chicago and CityBase have long shared the priority of improving access to public services for every single resident, no matter where they live in the city,” Mike Duffy, CEO and founder of CityBase, said. “By dramatically increasing self-service options for people who pay in person, the city is making it more convenient for people to pay for obligations like monthly water bills in their own neighborhoods, during a time that works for them.”

City bills and fees can be paid using cash, check, credit, debit, and prepaid cards. The city said the kiosks offer increased access to residents who prefer to pay with cash, many of whom are under-banked and lack access to a bank account or credit card. In the past, residents who wished to pay with cash either had to take off work during business hours to make a payment in person or use high-fee services like check cashing stores. With the payment kiosks, residents can pay in cash without taking time off work and without paying any additional fees.

As Soni mentioned, the city said the kiosk technology is integrated in real-time to relevant city department databases. Chicago said this promotes efficiencies for the city by reducing time-consuming manual payment processing and reconciliation. Additionally, customers can make a full or partial payment and the transaction immediately posts against their balance, helping customers avoid late fees or other penalties, including if they pay after business hours.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs